Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mr. Guppy suggests to Lady Dedlock that ___________.

2. Nemo's death is caused by ___________.

3. Esther feels Richard is far too ___________.

4. Mr.Chadaband delivers a lecture to Jo regarding ___________.

5. Esther is to become a governess to ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss Krook's strange death. What is spontaneous combustion?

2. The story has turned into a whodunit. Why is lady Dedlock suspected of murdering Mr. Tulkinghorn?

3. What is the point of Esther, Ada, and Richard spending a night at the Jellybys'? What does Dickens accomplish with this break in their journey toward Bleak House?

4. Poor Guster, the Snagsbys' maid, is given to seizures. Why does Guster fit in so well with the Snagsbys?

5. What is the purpose of the Ghost Walk?

6. Discuss Mr. Guppy's pursuit of Esther as he follows her around the city. How would this be viewed today?

7. What is the significance of the "beadle" arriving at Nemo's death scene if any? What is the beadle?

8. Discuss Krook's Rag and Bottle Shop? Is he a good businessman? Is there anything symbolic about the shop?

9. What is interesting about Smallweed demanding money for the letters he once had in his possession?

10. Discuss the ending of the story. What is Dickens' intention when he allows Esther to live on happily after all that has taken place?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Dickens' writing style in Bleak House often resembles or illustrates his subject matter. Discuss this idea, and if you agree that this is the author's intent, provide examples.. Does this literary device help to drive home Dickens' points? Is there a name for this method? Give examples and quotes that illustrate how Dickens' writing mimics his subject matter.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the use of flowers in Bleak House. Dickens employs flowers several times in very specific, symbolic ways. Examine the symbolism and determine if there is a common thread in the instances where flowers appear.

Essay Topic 3

Jarndyce v. Jarndyce comes to an end, just as Esther's adult life begins to take form. In its wake, the lawsuit has swept away many people, and the plot of the story has been cleaned up and tied up. What is Dickens trying to say, with Esther now being a happy woman, the misunderstandings smoothed out, Miss Flite's birds being free, and other semi-happy endings offered in Bleak House?

(see the answer keys)

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